The boy was killed overnight on Sunday near the Qalandiya checkpoint south of Ram Allah, reported our correspondent.

He was shot in the heart during a demonstration in support of Palestinian President Yasir Arafat, according to Palestinian medical sources.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have taken to the streets across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip after Israel announced it would “remove” the veteran leader.

It did not elaborate on what removing Arafat would entail, but some Israeli officials have called for his assassination.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell rejected this stance, warning it would only unleash anger across the Middle East and Muslim world.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces re-invaded the West Bank city of Nablus and Balata refugee camp, causing heavy damage to residential buildings.

Occupation troops launched their heaviest attacks in recent weeks in Nablus' old city and surrounding areas, said Palestinian sources.

Soldiers also arrested Bashar Tabaliyah, a local leader of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the armed wing of Arafat's Fatah movement.